Weather Emergencies

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Tornadoes and Thunderstorms

Tornadoes and thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions may occur with little, if any, warning. In just five minutes, a tornado may travel two to five miles on the ground. Severe thunderstorms pass nearby every year and tornadoes, while rare, do occur in Central New York. The greatest dangers from tornadoes and thunderstorms are high winds. High winds may cause:

  • Roof Failure
  • Breaking Glass
  • Flying Debris

Tompkins Cortland Community College has developed this plan to safeguard occupants during a severe weather event. The plan is designed so that staff and students can be quickly alerted and follow a preset plan of action to maximize safety.

Weather Alert Information

Campus police receive critical weather information from a NOAA weather alert radio. This radio has a “tone alert” that will receive a warning from the National Weather Service within minutes of issuance. The police also receives weather information via a satellite weather system and local television and radio broadcasts.


The primary means of notification of a severe weather event will be the public address system. An announcement will be issued alerting occupants to the event and, if necessary, to take immediate shelter. Additional methods of notification will be used if time permits.

Shelter Areas on Campus

Green and white signs identify shelter locations. Shelters have been designated based on a study by Fred H. Thomas Associates, Architects and Engineers PC, using American Red Cross and FEMA guidelines. Do not leave the shelter until officially given the all clear.

The primary shelter locations are:

  • Locker Rooms
  • 1st Floor Restrooms
  • 114, 116A, 116B, 123A, 147, 149, 150
  • Pool
  • Corridor east of the pool between rooms 160 and 174
  • Athletic Facility, Community, Team and Coaches Restrooms/Locker Rooms



Severe Thunderstorms or Tornadoes

The College is prepared to notify the campus community via the Emergency Notification System (ENS) of severe weather emergencies.

The following terms are utilized by the National Weather Service:

Watch: Conditions are right for a severe thunderstorm or tornado to develop. Continue with normal activities, but continue to monitor the weather.

Warning: Radar or weather spotters have identified a severe thunderstorm or tornado. The College’s Outdoor Warning System may be activated if there is danger for the College Community.

If you are indoors:

  • Know the location of the appropriate area(s) for your facility. This can be a basement or a ground floor hallway with no windows or a door frame.
  • If you are unable to go to a room with no windows get under a desk or a table.
  • Remain in a protected area until the threat has ceased or the danger has passed.
  • Call the Campus Police using 6511 from any campus phone or 607-844-6511 or 607-844-8222, ext. 6511 from a cell phone to report injuries.

If you are outside:

  • Try to seek shelter indoors.
  • If you cannot, try to get to a protected or safe area away from buildings, windows and glass, telephone or light poles or any place where there could be falling debris.
  • A low area such as a ditch or ravine or a depression works well.
  • Lie face down and cover your head and face.
  • Avoid any downed power lines.
  • Call Campus Police to report injuries and damage.